PAGE IN PROGRESS What you see here is a page of my hypertext book POWER of meanings // MEANINGS of power. Initially empty, this page will slowly be filled with thoughts, notes, and quotes. One day, I will use them to write a coherent entry, similar to these completed pages. See this post to better understand my creative process. Thank you for your interest and patience!
I am me and my circumstances Conditioning
Meanings that we learn are part of our upbringing can be very difficult to challenge. We can consciously decide to ignore them, to overcome them. Yet, when we find ourselves in an emotionally charged situation, these meanings that we learned first will take over. This may see like hypocrisy to the outsider, but the person who acts based on the deeper layers of meaning is not hypocritical. It may be very difficult to bring this mismatch up to the person attention. (It might help to start by explaining how this mechanism works).
Power of going beyond your circumstances. First you need to recognize them. It takes enormous effort to go beyond one's circumstances and it often means questioning your actions. We all may have power to potentially go beyond our circumstances, but few people do it in big ways because of how much effort it takes to use this power. Example: Thomas Jefferson: https://www.npr.org/2016/04/16/474485626/-most-blessed-of-the-patriarchs-digs-into-thomas-jeffersons-hypocrisy "SIMON: In the end, how impressed are you by Thomas Jefferson's mind?GORDON-REED: Enormously impressed, enormously impressed. I think to ask the question how could someone who is a slave owner write the Declaration of Independence, you know, how could he own slaves when he did this other thing, how could he know that slavery was wrong, I mean, that's a problem for us. But there were many, many, many more people who didn't think that slavery was wrong. I mean, the real question is how did somebody who grew up the way he grew up - I mean, the story we tell and, you know, of him - his first memory of being handed up on a pillow... SIMON: The pillow, yeah. GORDON-REED: ...To an enslaved person, this institution bounded his life. And yet he thought that it was wrong. There were many, many more people who did not think it was wrong and never thought anything at all about it. "